Marketing Guide

Your Guide for Promoting an Event

The following planning questions, timeline, and checklist include a wide variety of promotional tools. Your needs will vary depending on the scope of your event.


Who is your primary target audience?

Who do you want to attend and why?

How big is your budget?

Estimate promotion costs and tailor your plan accordingly.

How big is the venue?

Match your promotion efforts to your venue’s capacity. For example, if you are planning a presentation for a small audience, you will probably only use some of the items from the checklist below.

How big is the target audience? Does it match the venue capacity?

If seating will be limited, say so in your promotional materials or get a bigger space.

Note: If you’re planning a large, general-audience event, CAS Communications may be able to assist. Currently support is offered for one major event per year per unit.

6–8 weeks in advance

  • Identify promotional materials to be used.
    (posters, email, digital signs, print ads, web, etc.)
  • Begin design and production of promotional materials.
  • Decide if a WSU photographer is needed to provide high quality still photos.
    Contact Photo Services to schedule (cost-based).
  • Decide if live streaming and/or recording is appropriate.
    Options include partnering with Global Campus; making arrangements with Academic Media Services (AMS) (cost-based); or self-producing with YouTube or Facebook live streaming.

4–6 weeks in advance

  • Post event details on the WSU Calendar.
  • Post event details on your department or school’s website.
  • Post the details on community calendars.
  • Send a “Save the Date” email to important guests.
  • Compile additional email address lists for external/affiliated groups and internal audiences as needed. Remember to make use of your department/school’s internal lists & associated listservs and any affiliated groups’ lists & listservs

If you plan to send a University-wide email or a college-wide email, address lists will be provided by University Communications or the College of Arts and Sciences, respectively.

3–4 weeks in advance

  • Complete design of printed and digital promotional materials and arrange for printing and display. Posters in the residence halls must be approved by Residence Life before printing and must be delivered to the Residence Life office at least one week before you can expect them to be posted.
  • Place printed posters in high-traffic areas of your department/school and in key locations across campus, such as the CUB, Chinook Student Center, Student Recreation Center, and Dining Centers. Learn about posting printed signage & posters.
  • Submit electronic files for ads to appear on digital screens in the CUB, Lighty Student Services, and other locations. They are either cost-based or free with student organization sponsorship.
  • Submit electronic files for ads to appear on digital screens in the Spark building (cost based).
  • Place posters on WSU Library bulletin boards.
  • Begin announcing your event through social media, via
    • Your department or school
    • Affiliates and student groups
    • Individual faculty, staff, students
  • Provide information or URLs for WSU and CAS to share via social media channels.
  • Send information and/or poster to WSU Insider for their event listings.
  • If appropriate, send a press release to WSU Insider for distribution to area media (reserved for large-scale, public events).

2-3 weeks in advance

  • Complete HTML email and send to appropriate distribution lists.
  • Email information and/or posters to colleagues at WSU and elsewhere, as appropriate, e.g.,
    • University of Idaho
    • Eastern Washington University
    • Gonzaga University
    • Lewis & Clark Community College
    • Spokane Community College
  • Submit event details to appear in WSU Announcements at least 1 week before the event.
  • Make arrangements to live-stream and/or record, if appropriate, via Global Campus or Academic Media Services (AMS).

1–2 weeks in advance

Day of event

  • Post reminders on social media
  • Consider live Twitter posts from the event if appropriate
  • Greet any reporters who attend and answer their questions

After your event

  • Thank attendees and post a recap with photos/videos from your event on social media.
  • Thank any reporters who covered your event.
  • Thank affiliates who helped with your event via email and by tagging them in social media posts.
  • Email a short narrative about your event and any photos or videos to CAS Communications for possible inclusion in the college’s Photo Galleries.